John Raymond | Jazz Showcase | Jazz | Chicago Reader

John Raymond Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Wed., July 22, 8 & 10 p.m. 2015

Plush-toned trumpeter John Raymond’s strong second album, released this spring, is titled Foreign Territory (Fresh Sound New Talent), an odd choice for an acoustic postbop session in which some originals employ one of the oldest tricks in the book: building tunes upon the chord changes of jazz standards. But the New York horn player previously chased a more self-consciously slick contemporary sound (he’s also been a successful arranger for commercial R&B sessions), so the shift on his recent album truly is decisive and edgy. Raymond credits some of his redirection to rehearsal sessions with fellow trumpeter John McNeil—who produced the album—but his surrounding company helped as well. Stylistically curious pianist Dan Tepfer remains one of jazz’s most promising harmonic thinkers, and the rhythm section of bassist Joe Martin and veteran drummer Billy Hart summon a forceful energy and create a roomy structure ideal for Raymond’s subtle, thoughtful imaginings. Written around the changes of “How Deep Is the Ocean,” the stuttery, thoroughly contemporary “Deeper” has a wistful lyric quality that creates a rich tension with the halting rhythmic texture. More oblique are “Rest/Peace,” a meditative improvisation inspired by the Horace Silver ballad “Peace,” and the terse free-improv vignette “Hart of the Matter,” which underlines the strong intuitive feel of the album as a whole. For tonight’s performance Jay Sawyer fills in for Hart. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20

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